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Thread: How do we bring back Classical Music for the Average Joe ?

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    Default How do we bring back Classical Music for the Average Joe ?

    I don't need anymore explaining. Classical Music as it stands right now is not popular with the average middle class Joe.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojoju2000 View Post
    I don't need anymore explaining. Classical Music as it stands right now is not popular with the average middle class Joe.
    Does it have to be popular with the middle class? I wasn't middle class and I got into it.

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    I'd like to know when it *was* popular with the "average Joe". It's almost certainly more accessible than ever, with the consequences of streaming, and a large, freely available library of literature.

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    Senior Member Haydn70's Avatar
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    Classical music was NEVER popular with average middle class Joes.

    Classical music has never been, is not now and will never be popular with 95% (if not 99%) of the music-listening population of any country/society.
    Last edited by Haydn70; May-19-2021 at 20:09.

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    jojojuju, if you're interested in the subject we just had a lengthy discussion on a thread titled "the reality of life for contemporary composers". There you'll find a lot to keep you entertained. I don't want to get into another argument around the same thing, so I'll just say that I agree with Haydn70

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Yes, classical is not popular with the masses. You will also find that walking on land is not popular with fish.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Some of it was popular when it was new. Tastes have changed plenty in the meantime though.

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    With the easy access of music via electronics, the general short attention span of people, and the continual devaluing of western culture this won't be easy to do. But in earlier times, many more people were aware of classical than now:

    Go back to mid-century New York. The Philharmonic regularly played concerts at Lewisohn Stadium to packed crowds of 8,000 people. The Goldman Band was wildly popular for playing concerts to the masses. Leonard Bernstein gave a famous Concert in the Park (Eroica and Rite of Spring) that 100,000 at least were there for.

    In mid-20th c America there were only three TV and few radio networks. Their leaders had higher aspirations for the medium and sponsored their own orchestras of which Toscanini's was the most famous. With only three channels out there, people had much more limited listening and viewing choices - so why not watch a concert? Nowadays, with hundreds of choices classical music is utterly absent on TV in the US. Some orchestras are streaming, but they're still up so many other entertainment choices.

    Saturday morning cartoons especially from Warner Bros used both popular and classical music. It influenced lot of people to check out music.

    Over 100 years ago, before radio and TV and even records, if you wanted music you played it yourself. Learning piano was far, far more common than today and what did they play? Chopin, Rubinstein, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff...many people with first heard the great symphonies in piano 4-hand arrangements. I still remember growing up hearing grandma pounding out Strauss waltzes on her upright.

    Universities used to require students take humanities courses - to introduce students to the great works of art and music to students. Those days are long gone. All replaced with music appreciation for ABBA, Michael Jackson, Radiohead...

    But there's still hope: in Japan, S Korea, Taiwan, China and other parts of the Orient, classical music is highly valued and sought out.
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    But there's still hope: in Japan, S Korea, Taiwan, China and other parts of the Orient, classical music is highly valued and sought out.
    I've seen statements like this a lot - but are there actual data available? Does a larger percentage of the population of these countries listen to classical music and/or go to concerts compared to say Europe and the USA?

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    When I was young (the 70s and 80s) classical music was certainly being marketed as accessible to everyone. My first proper introduction to classical music was through the widely advertised CD compilation "The Classic Experience" of 1988. Then there was the Three Tenors in 1990... The UK's first commercial radio station, Classic FM, launched in 1992 to much success and now has about 6 million listeners, which sounds impressive until you realise that means 90% of the country doesn't listen to it. Plus its playlist consists of only that portion of the classical repertoire that won't frighten off a general audience.

    The average Joe is getting on just fine without classical music - and, realistically, vice versa.

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    Senior Member Haydn70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereffid View Post
    When I was young (the 70s and 80s) classical music was certainly being marketed as accessible to everyone. My first proper introduction to classical music was through the widely advertised CD compilation "The Classic Experience" of 1988. Then there was the Three Tenors in 1990... The UK's first commercial radio station, Classic FM, launched in 1992 to much success and now has about 6 million listeners, which sounds impressive until you realise that means 90% of the country doesn't listen to it. Plus its playlist consists of only that portion of the classical repertoire that won't frighten off a general audience.

    The average Joe is getting on just fine without classical music - and, realistically, vice versa.
    Spot on.

    (This is to get my post over 15 characters)

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    Senior Member DaveM's Avatar
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    The average Joe may be smarter than you think..

    1976E984-E240-49A7-A39C-5D31AA66CA09.jpeg

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post

    Universities used to require students take humanities courses - to introduce students to the great works of art and music to students. Those days are long gone. All replaced with music appreciation for ABBA, Michael Jackson, Radiohead...
    No they haven't. They have been replaced with coding, computer engineering, and hard sciences, by people who continuously devalue humanities courses because their view of higher education is as job training.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    I've seen statements like this a lot - but are there actual data available? Does a larger percentage of the population of these countries listen to classical music and/or go to concerts compared to say Europe and the USA?
    I doubt that Classical music is higher in the East than the 1% (nor has it ever been much higher) for the rest of the world; Jazz also accounts for 1% of the global market. The masses go for music which is more obviously entertaining: Rap, Pop and Country - and there's nothing wrong with that.
    Last edited by SanAntone; May-19-2021 at 20:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jojoju2000 View Post
    I don't need anymore explaining. Classical Music as it stands right now is not popular with the average middle class Joe.
    It seems like the best way is to tie it into something Joe can relate to. Nobody heard of Strauss' Zarathustra until Kubrick put it into 2001, and even less had heard of Pachelbel's Canon until the 1970s, culiminating in the movie Ordinary People. Then there was Bach's Cello Suite used in the TV show The West Wing.

    My feeling about classical music is, most people would like it if they had a reason to hear it. For examples, back in the 1960s, hippies had no problem hearing Virgil Fox at the Filmore. I don't see why that couldn't happen again if the social influencers waved their hands.

    Some enterprising person needs to notice how many 20-somethings have dogs and begin to market music for their pets. Apparently dogs become less stressed after listening to instrumental music.
    Last edited by Manxfeeder; May-19-2021 at 21:10.

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